Hairy Vetch- a Top Nitrogen Producer

Hairy Vetch is a terrific nitrogen producing cover crop species.  For Hairy Vetch to produce significant Nitrogen it needs to be established in adequate time to have good growth before going dormant in winter.  Hairy Vetch must also be inoculated to be productive.  One challenge with using Hairy Vetch is that it contains significant amounts of hard seed that will most likely germinate in future years.

Advantages of Hairy Vetch

  • Tolerates lower fertility
  • Can produce significant amounts of N
  • Relatively easy to kill

Disadvantages of Hairy Vetch

  • Hard Seed – can become a weed
  • Needs 5-6 weeks good growth before winter for best results


4 Responses to Hairy Vetch- a Top Nitrogen Producer

  1. Jared McCoy September 26, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Would hairy vetch be a good choice following soybeans, going to milo next spring? I am trying to gain some ground cover. I am in traditional wheat country and this farm has ferel rye problem, so rye is out of the question.

  2. Dave October 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Yes it would be! Hairy Vetch is an excellent nitrogen producer.

  3. larry white July 22, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    I am looking to over winter a cover lagume crop. Would mixing medium red clocer with hairy vetch and sweet yellow clover with some sister crop of oats and winter rye be a good combination..

  4. Dave July 29, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    Larry, That sounds like a very good mixture! Be sure to inoculate all of the legumes with the proper inoculants.